They might have two well-received and praised albums under their belt, but Austrian metallers Cemetery Dust is probably still an unknown property in the main thrust of the metal scene. That might and should be about to change with the release of To rule them all. The band’s third album is an antagonistic and compelling maelstrom of old school thrash and death metal which is also equipped with the contagious grooving of modern metal. It is a roar of old and new, an encounter familiar yet simultaneously fresh, and though it might not take its creators to the top table of the global metal scene it will forcibly slap the face of widespread attention.
Hailing from Braunau am Inn, Cemetery Dust began in 2005 and quickly stirred up strong local support. Debut album Power of the Hypocrite was unleashed in 2008 and with its persuasive blend of metal furies set the basis for the band’s sound as their presence began to spread. Its successor An Anatomy of War followed in 2012 and showed another creative and aural leap in the band’s creativity, a step emulated again in To rule them all with even greater maturity in songwriting and craft. Released via Metal Music Austria, it is a furious and intimidating proposition yet every assault and incitement posing as a song is veined by a seductive and unpredictable lure.
The album opens with the mesmeric calm and beauty of Proelium Elementorum, an instrumental track which transfixes ears and imagination without giving any hint of the onslaught to come. It has no portentous air or intimidation to it of any kind, just a weave of elegant guitar play and melodic temptation. In many ways it is at odds with what follows as even the calm before the storm has essences of turbulence in its air but here the alluring opener just seduces before being pushed aside by the tempestuous might of Souls Come Undone. Riffs and rhythms are an instant ravaging of ears ridden by the equally caustic and hostile tones of Philipp Forster. There is no escape from its intensity and raging but it comes with a great tempering of guitar enterprise from Forster and Christoph Steinlechner, grooves and sonic flames a rich and incendiary spilling invention and infectiousness. The merciless attack of drummer Rupert Sonnleitner equally has catchiness to its trespass on the senses, though everything ultimately ignites as one hellacious tempting.
The following Bleed for the Machine is the same, uncompromising in its thrash bred riffery and death seeded sonic malevolence but irresistible in grooves and unpredictability. The bass of Benjamin Jensen snarls and groans wonderfully within the song, its presence as bestial as it is magnetically varied, whilst the guitars flirt and scorch ears with their own imaginative designs. The track is fascinating, the first of the most inventive and creatively diverse offerings on the release before seeping into samples of ‘apocalyptic’ news reports which in turn lead into the might of The Great Isolation. The fourth song on To rule them all, with an agitated opening and inviting shuffle, draws on a hardcore squalling of voice and sound before infusing it into another fierce thrash spawned provocation. As suggested earlier, there is a familiarity which comes with certain moments and songs, not always exactly definable but recognisable within styles, but as here it is potently honed into something new and inventive. Once more Forster and Steinlechner have ears and thoughts riveted with their simple riffs driven ravaging but more so through strands of sonic ingenuity. Hooks seduce and grooves bind but the whole melodic enterprise from their imagination is what borders on sonic poetry.
Tiger, Dragon and Snake is a stalking beast from its first breath, swiftly turning its prowl into a senses scavenging hostility disguised with toxic grooves and heavily swinging rhythms whilst Cloak of Blood next, and in deed the following The Blind King, show themselves to be even more severe predators. The first of this pair is especially inescapable, every riff and beat an intrusive beckoning over which coarse vocals scowl and guitars dangle addiction forging incitements, some with a classic metal spicing. Its successor is equally as adept in enthralling ears and thoughts with an evolving tirade of inventive bait, though demanding a more intensive attention than its infection spewing predecessor.
The hefty offerings of Monument of Hate and its title track brings To rule them all to an impressive close. The first of the two spins a fearsome and engaging web around Jensen’s menacingly alluring basslines, creating a canvas of exotic and corrosive predation in sound and intensity. As all songs there is constantly shifting scenery to the landscape; a seamless and masterful shifting which is never less than aggressively savage. The final song is more of the same in design and character whilst carrying its own distinct guise, though there are moments across the album where tracks do have a similar presence if not ever enough to disturb the potency and impressiveness of the release.
It is hard to imagine Cemetery Dust being an unknown quantity from hereon in because of To rule them all alone. It is a release to awaken new spotlights on and appetites for the band’s invigorating sound and its blazing adventure, one all extreme metal fans should make themselves aware of at the very least..
To rule them all is available now via Metal Music Austria digitally and on CD @ http://metalmusicaustria.bandcamp.com/album/to-rule-them-all
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://www.reputationradio.net